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Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and sexuality shape virtually every aspect of our social relations, and contribute fundamentally to our sense of self.

From 2019, Gender and Sexuality Studies replaces Women's and Gender Studies.

Dominant understandings of normal genders and sexualities are woven throughout society, while resisting those norms and reshaping those understandings contribute to ongoing social change.

Gender and Sexuality Studies, which is available as an undergraduate level minor, is an interdisciplinary subject that is concerned with all of these issues. Papers explore a wide range of topics, including media representations of gender and sexuality, medical constructions of the body, gender and development, the gendered division of paid and unpaid work, gender and public policy, gender, sexuality and technology, violence based on gender and/or sexuality, and difference and ethnicity.

Studying Gender and Sexuality Studies at Waikato offers specialised knowledge of gender relations and social change in relation to the media, health, paid and unpaid work, education, sexuality, social policy and the law.

Adding this subject to your degree will enable you to develop critical thinking skills, and prepare you to respond effectively to a wide range of social justice issues. Students who enjoy social sciences and history, and are interested in learning more about women’s and men’s roles in society today and in the past, will find the subject a stimulating addition to their degree, either as a minor or supporting subject.

Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary subject. It goes particularly well with sociologysocial policyanthropologyeducation studiesgeographyhistorylaw and psychology.

There are employment opportunities for graduates with a good understanding in this area are within advocacy groups, government agencies, human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations and social services agencies.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.

Career opportunities

  • Equal Employment Officer
  • Gender Consultant
  • Gender Development Project Coordinator
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Policy Analyst

Prescriptions for the GradCert(GnSex)

A Graduate Certificate is available to graduates who have not included Gender and Sexuality Studies at an advanced level in their first degree. Each programme of study for the Graduate Certificate must include GNSEX303.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
GNSEX101Gender and Sexuality: Representations and Realities20B (Hamilton)
This paper considers issues related to gender, sexuality, and the body including health issues, media representations, gender based violence, and forms of resistance.
SOCIO101Introduction to Sociology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper prepares students for further study in a range of social science subjects. It introduces the main sociological theories, concepts and practices that enable an understanding of contemporary societies.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
CMYHE202Understanding Healthy Bodies: Sociocultural Perspectives20A (Hamilton)
This paper develops a sociocultural understanding of healthy bodies.
GEOGY209Health, People, Place20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper draws on critical analysis of health, people and place to introduce contemporary developments in socio-cultural geography. Attention is paid to spatial well-being at a range of scales.
MAORI200Mana Wahine20B (Hamilton)
This paper examines foundational aspects of mana wahine scholarship, the impact of colonisation on Maori and Indigenous women, and the resistant spaces negotiated by Maori women including their contributions to decolonisation.
MEDIA200Acts of Representation20B (Hamilton)
This paper establishes a conceptual awareness of acts of representation across visual, audiovisual and musical mediums, and facilitates the development of skills that allow us to analyse and engage with mediatised representational practices in critical and creative ways.
SOCIO203Popular Culture20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper offers a sociological perspective on historical and contemporary forms of popular culture.
SOCPY201Social Policy, Families and Children20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper further develops students' theoretical understanding of social policy, while focusing specifically on policy related to families and children, providing insight into the relationships between policy and lived experience.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EDSOC303Education and Sexuality20B (Online)
A study of the ways childhood and adult sexuality is constructed, monitored and regulated in society and in educational settings. The major emphasis is on exploring sexuality through historical and sociological perspectives.
GEOGY309Gender, Place and Culture20A (Hamilton)
This paper is a forum for debate in feminist geographies of difference. Key concerns are intersections between gender, ethnicity, nationality and other social divisions in relation to place and environment.
GNSEX303Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities20A (Hamilton)
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. It investigates micro and macro level experiences and the social construction of identities. In doing so, this paper looks at how power is distributed in society, the theories that...
HISTY300Gender in History20A (Hamilton)
Gender in History examines the role of gender in society, culture, and the lives of individuals by introducing students to a range of historical case studies and methodologies.
HRMGT300Women and Management20G (Hamilton)
This paper analyses: 1) women's different employment experiences and career outcomes, 2) the implications of gendered employment outcomes, and 3) government and organisation initiatives designed to redress gendered employment outcomes.
PSYCH302Community, Culture and Diversity20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
The focus of this paper is the study of social justice, intersectionality, transformative interventions, and social change strategies that are central to community, indigenous and liberation psychologies. Issues covered include inequalities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and (dis)ability. Key considerations are the broader co...

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL408Family Law20A (Hamilton)
A focus on the law and social policies involved in the formation and breakdown of family relationships. The paper specifically examines the matrix of legislation and case law that underpin common family law disputes and legal proceedings in the Family Court.
LEGAL472Issues in Family Law20B (Hamilton)
A focus on Family Court procedure, processes and common family law issues stemming from the formation and breakdown of family relationships and the matrix of family law legislation. Includes an examination of the dispute resolution process, legislation and case law, filing of legal documents, options available for settlement, resul...

Subject requirements

Gender and Sexuality Studies is available only as a minor.

To complete this minor, students require 60 points from the papers listed for Gender and Sexuality Studies, including GNSEX101 and GNSEXS303.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

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Subject links

Societies and Cultures Programme


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080